Friday, September 9, 2011

A. B. Knapp of Grant Township

The letter below is from A. B. Knapp and was published in the Pioneer Magnet (Big Rapids, Mecosta County, Michigan) from Thursday May 9, 1878.

A. B. Knapp can be found on Page 1 Column 3

I have been farming in the town of Grant, this county, since 1866.  Have 110 acres of land under cultivation, all well cleared and fenced.  Soil - clay and dark sandy loam.  Land - rolling Timber - beech, maple, basswood, white and black ash, cherry, elm and hemlock.  Cost of clearing and fencing, from $12 to $20 per acre.  Best yield of wheat, thirty-five bushels per acre; lowest five bushels; average twenty bushels per acre.  Average price per bushel for the last three years, $1.15.  Oats - average yield per acre, thirty bushels; price, thirty cents to one dollar; average fifty cents per bushel.  Average yield of corn per acre, 75 bushels, average price, 35 cents per bushel in the ear.  Potatoes - average yield 150 bushels per acre; average price 75 cents per bushel.  Hay - one and a half tons per acre; price all the way from $10 to $60 per ton.  Rutabagas - average, 300 bushels per acre; average price, forty cents per bushel.  With proper cultivation, the yield of all the above mentioned crops would average much better than here stated.  Barley, winter and spring rye, spring wheat, peas, beans, and nearly all varieties of garden vegetables, do well in this locality.  Farming is a success in this country, when practically and energetically carried on.  Stock raising I find to be profitable.  Wild land is worth in this vicinity from five to ten dollars per acre.  Cleared land will average fifty dollars an acre.
April 4, 1878 - A.B. Knapp

I found Abel B. Knapp in the 1880 census for Grant Township, Mecosta County, Michigan.  I noticed he had the local minister living in his household.  Talk about an inducement to live an upright and moral life!
Abel Knapp has a lengthy biographical sketch in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Mecosta County.  The really neat thing about his entry is that it includes sketches of both him and his wife (I never get so lucky with my family).  I tried to capture them in the image below, but it didn't come out very well.
What I find interesting about the sketches, is that the optical character recognition program in didn't pick up this hit.  The moral of this story - always look for yourself!


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